There is something so very vintage and nostalgic about a double-barreled shotgun. I don’t know if it’s just an ‘Old West’ type of thing or what, but something about it just catches my attention. Not to mention the very satisfying cha-CHUK when you cock a pump-action the first few times. Eargasmic, isn’t it? Shame it gives away your location and potentially robs you of the element of surprise.

The DP-12 shotgun is made by Standard Manufacturing, of New Britain, CT. This is a company which has been in business for about a decade, producing pistols, revolvers, AR-style rifles, and shotguns. Standard Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Co., which is now nearing its 50th jubilee. These guys know how to make a good shotgun.

Before we get into the DP-12 and its specs, here’s a quick take on the double-barrel shotgun.

Double-Barreled Shotgun

First designed and produced in 1875, the double-barreled shotgun was a real revelation. The shotgun had already been around for some time, but the option of a side-by-side or over-under configuration opened up brand new horizons for shooters everywhere.

Towards the end of the 19th century, legendary inventor John Browning designed and executed his plans for a lever-action shotgun and pump-action shotgun, among other things. The rest, as they say, is history.

Law-keepers, everyday civilians, and coach riders especially favored this new, powerful, up-close-and-personal weapon. Incidentally, this is the origin of the phrase “riding shotgun” – the double-barreled shotgun was often used to safekeep a coach’s passengers and cargo. Browning’s designs are still being used today, which should give you an idea of just how big a contribution he made to the wide world of firearms.

Amazing, what some people can achieve in this life.

Stoeger Coach Gun
Stoeger Coach Gun

Double-barreled shotguns are used in many instances: home and personal defense; in a variety of competitions and events; as a hunting weapon; and also for handling tactical situations. Some shotguns allow the use of separate chokes and different shells in each barrel. I personally don’t find that duality to be ideal or much of a necessity, certainly not when in a position where you may be under stress (like in a home defense scenario). Nevertheless, it opens up a wide array of possibilities for the operator, whether it is in training, at a competition or event, or during a tactical/emergency situation.

But it’s not all wine and roses for this firearm. You gotta take the good with the bad, and the double-barreled shotgun does indeed have a few shortcomings. These disadvantages change considerably from one make and model to the next, and with the operator’s intended use and physical build, but here are a few things to think about. And this is not specific to double-barreled shotguns, but refers to my opinion on shotguns at large.

– Size

Unlike a pistol or a designated close-quarter weapon, shotguns are larger and usually less optimal for indoor combat. They are highly effective in short ranges, yes. Downright deadly. But they can also be bulky and awkward. Choose your weapon carefully, and always take your needs into account.

– Recoil

With great power comes great recoil. And if you choose to fire heavy loads, you’re gonna get some serious recoil from your shotgun. It takes practice and training to master the art of the proper follow-up. Recoil is more manageable in some cases, but it is still a factor which may be to the shooter’s detriment.

– Capacity

AR-style weapons have a standard 30-round capacity. Pistols have a fair amount of ammo too, depending on the caliber. Shotguns typically have lower capacity than the former two, and this is a disadvantage in the eyes of some. Then again, if you feel you may need to reload in an emergency situation, you should be training for it and anticipating it.

– Noise

It’s loud. Very loud. And it can potentially damage your ears and hearing for a long while. Some people actually recommend placing earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones next to where the weapon is stored, so that when the feces strikes the rotating ventilator, you will be able to stay focused and not become as disoriented when shots are fired. Ear-muffs or  no, this is also something which training can assist with. Be safe!

Alright, so that was some general info on the weapon itself. How does the DP-12 stack up by modern standards?

DP 12 Shotgun

The DP-12 is a bullpup pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. It fires shells which are 2¾” or 3” long. Each pump of the action will provide you with two shots, and the DP-12 utilizes a single trigger. In other words, it requires two separate trigger pulls to release both shells, but this can be executed very rapidly. A seasoned shooter should be able to engage two separate targets in quick succession, and I feel this is what you should be aiming for when training with such a weapon. Obviously, distance is a factor, but you know what I mean.

With a receiver built from aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum, and a solid, well-made polymer frame, the DP-12 was first introduced in 2015. It has two separate magazine tubes, each holding 7 rounds with the capacity for a +1 in the chamber. Altogether, it can hold 16 shells (2¾”) or 14 shells (3”), which is great for a shotgun albeit not unheard of.

The DP-12 is fully ambi, has a shell indicator window, foregrip, and is overall a well-built piece of hardware. Its looks may put you off at first or cause you to think it is some kind of glorified toy, but don’t be fooled by the “gimmicky” appearance. This is the first of its kind for Standard Manufacturing. If I am not mistaken, until the DP-12 they were into producing more classic shotguns.

DP 12 Shotgun
DP-12 Double Barrel Pump Shotgun with “The Works #1”
  • Length of barrels – 18 ⅞”
  • Overall length – 29.5”
  • Weight – 9.3 lbs
  • Dual Picatinny rails (top + bottom)
  • Synthetic stock
  • Composite grip
  • Dual springs in rubber pad for recoil absorption

If you are not a fan of the bullpup design, there is a good chance you won’t like this one either. Conversely, it may cause you to become a fan! You never know.

DP-12 Shotgun for sale

The base MSRP on this shotgun is $1,395, which is expensive but not ridiculous, considering its highly functional nature. There are also models selling for MSRPs between $1,500 and $2,000. Price is certainly a factor, and rightly so, but depending on the intended use, you should prioritize one way or another. Invest in the right kind of shotgun, and you will not regret it.

I mentioned the Kel-Tec KSG a lot, and I will do so again now, simply because there are some similarities between them. They are both modern-day, bullpup, double-barreled, 12-gauge shotguns, and the KSG is the cheaper one of the two, by the way. Perhaps there is no real need for comparison, but I found both weapons to be too similar to not compare – at least a little. I do enjoy the fact that the DP-12 has no selector switch.

How prevalent is the DP-12? Well, for starters, it is available in many physical shops and online retailers (Gun Broker, Bud’s). As with every fairly new weapon, some people are waiting a year or two before getting into that boat and investing the money. That price tag is not cheap. I suspect that more than anything, your everyday shooter wants to see long-term reliability and good customer service. You give them that, you build a solid client base. I am over-simplifying, I know, but the point stands.

Over at the California Department of Justice, there was a big hubbub over the legality of firearms like the DP-12. The fact that it exceeded a certain capacity, combined with the fact that there was no selector switch – something to that effect – caused the California legislators to crack down on shotguns such as these and remove them. New laws were passed in 2017, and the DP-12 – in its California compliant configuration – went back on the market, supposedly.

Right now, the Standard Manufacturing website FAQ says:

“Is the DP-12 compliant in CA, NY and CT? In our opinion, yes. If you live in one of these states and would like to purchase one, please contact Standard Manufacturing directly”.

I don’t know enough about the legal battle, and I don’t know if I want to know, but it looks like it’s still up in the air. “In our opinion, yes”. I just love that. Unapologetic and straightforward.

Standard Manufacturing offers a one-year warranty on its products, which I am not okay with, to be honest. Granted, I have never run a company like that, so maybe I am way off. But come on, I see so many other companies giving 5-year and 10-year warranties on their firearms. I mean, if you manufacture weapons, I feel you should stand behind your product for more than a year. I am not saying give a lifetime warranty, but a year? Really? As a shooter and a consumer, I am a tad disappointed.

Conclusion

It’s a fine shotgun for its class and size, I’ll give it that. But overall a bit heavy to handle, and not something I’d necessarily want to carry around all day. Not a must have or a must shoot. As shotguns go, this one doesn’t do it for me. Nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t get my mojo workin’. Can’t explain why. Just how I’m feeling. Is it because it’s a Monday? Maybe. Ah man.

Mondays.

DP-12 Double Barreled Pump Shotgun

Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

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